AAPD and ADA Present Analysis and Recommendations to IOM and CMS

In February 2011, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) presented joint written comments to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS).  Both IOM and CMS are preparing to make critical decisions impacting children’s oral health care.


The IOM, part of the federally chartered National Academy of Sciences, has created a committee to analyze the components of essential health benefits per the 2010 health care reform law.  That law includes pediatric oral health as an essential benefit, although the specifics of such a benefits package are left to federal regulation.  The IOM’s process will assist the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in making this determination.  The AAPD and ADA comment letter recommends that the IOM consider the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) dental benefit as a basic starting point, while considering expert recommendations on what is needed to meet children’s essential oral health needs-- such as the AAPD’s Model Dental Benefit Policy



Click here for a copy of the AAPD-ADA letter to IOM.


CMS is developing a strategy for improving children’s oral health services under Medicaid and CHIP.  On February 9, 2011, the AAPD and ADA jointly commented on a draft of this plan.  Both organizations recommended that CMS encourage states to aggressively pursue reforms that work and fully engage the dental practice community in such efforts.  The AAPD and ADA also highlighted the key strategies of market-based reforms, reduction of administrative barriers, and establishment of a dental home for every child by age one.  The AAPD and ADA also pledged their efforts and expertise in improving oral health literacy for families, which is critical to making prevention work.  While oral health preventive measures are important, they alone are not sufficient to meet  children’s needs nor are they the sole component of a dental home.  The dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care deliv­ered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way.


Click here for a copy of the AAPD-ADA letter to CMS.





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